Measures of the quality of life: and the uses to which such measures may be put


Edited by Anthony Hopkins FRCP, published in 1992 

Medical care is extremely expensive in all developing countries. The allocation of resources to health, as opposed to education or defence, for example is a decision of democratically elected governments; but, from the pool of money available for health promotion, prevention and care, how should resources be allocated?

Many people, including health care professionals, now believe that the outcome of health care is best measured in terms of improvement in the quality of life, rather than in some more technical measurement, such as a reduction in blood pressure.

This short book explores not only various measures of the quality of life, but also the uses to which they may be put in terms of resource allocation. Particular stress is laid upon the ethical aspects of such measurements and how such measurements might be used as instruments of social policy.


  • How might measures of quality of life be useful to me as a clinician? - Anthony Hopkins
  • How might measures of quality of life be useful to me as a health economist? - Clive Smee
  • The present state of play about QALYs - Alan Williams and Paul Kind
  • Are we satisfied with QALYs? - Martin Buxton
  • Are QALYs going to be useful to me as a purchaser of health services? - Paul Walker
  • Do we need measures other than QALYs?  - Sonja Hunt and Stephen McKenna
  • Index of health related quality of life  - Rachel Rosser, Michaela Cottee, Rosalind Rabin and Caroline Selai
  • Measurement of the quality of life: the particular problems of cancer patients - Peter Selby
  • Quality of life assessments and elderly people - John Grimley Evans
  • Ethical issues arising from measures of the quality of life - Sir Douglas Black
  • Are measures of the quality of life likely to be useful instruments of social policy? - Howard Glennerster
  • General discussion
  • Summing up
  • Appendices

Copies available on request.

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